Eurovision Eurovision 2023 Sweden

Tonight: Sweden’s Melodifestivalen 2023 kicks off!

Melodifestivalen, the national selection that most fans are waiting for, kicks off in Sweden tonight!

The first heat of Melodifestivalen 2023 will be broadcast live from Gothenburg at 20:00 CET. Below you will find all the necessary information regarding tonight’s heat. Hosts, artists, running order, backing vocalists and more!

The Show

Melodifestivalen goes back on tour after a two-year hiatus due to covid-19 pandemic. Just like Melodifestivalen, the Circus Brazil Jack tours all over the country. The now completely animal-free circus was founded at the end of the 19th century. Every year, circus performers from thirteen countries and five continents gather and give over a hundred performances in various cities around Sweden.

Brazil Jack is the world’s oldest touring circus. And Melodifestivalen is Sweden’s biggest circus. Finally we unite for a breathtaking opening number when we get the honor of kicking off Sweden’s biggest party.

Trolle Rhodin, circus director at Brazil Jack.

In the opening number, we will see, among other things, the Ukrainian aerial acrobats Maria Schevchenko and Trio Bellisimo, the hat juggler Sage Macaggi and the Cirque De Soleil Skating Jasters from Italy and Brazil. During the evening, the magician virtuoso and comedian Carl-Einar Häckner will entertain the audience.

We will also see last year’s winner Cornelia Jakobs who will perform “Hold Me Closer”.

The line-up

Alma Bengtsson/SVT

1. Tone Sekelius – “Rhythm Of My Show”
Text & music: Anderz Wrethov, Dino Medanhodzic, Jimmy “Joker” Thörnfeldt, Tone Sekelius  

Tone Sekelius finished in the fifth place in Melodifestivalen 2022 with “My Way”. In February 2021, she had introduced herself as transgender, and she thus became the first transgender person to compete in Melodifestivalen. She has made her debut as a presenter in Paradise, released the songs “What A Shame” and “Crying on Christmas” and has been a guest on several television programs. Tone was awarded the “HBTQ Person of the Year” at QX Gaygala 2022 and performed at Allsång på Skansen and Stockholm Pride. She is also a major influencer on TikTok and YouTube.
Tone about her song: “Rhythm of My Show” is a pop song with a lot of attitude. It’s cocky and you just want to dance to it. It will be a Tone that people may not be quite used to seeing. The number will have a lot of dance, show and attitude – it will be a confidence boost for everyone who listens. Most of all, I’m looking forward to being on stage and sharing a song that I absolutely love.
Backing vocalists of the number (on and off stage): Lars Säfsund, Louise Wallentin
Choreographers and performance creators: Keisha von Arnold, Lotta Furebäck, Sacha Jean-Baptiste and Jennie Widegren
Dancers: Lisa Arnold, Lamin Camara Holmén, Kenny Lantz, Kim Pastor, Mateo Cordova Pomo

Alma Bengtsson/SVT

2. Loulou LaMotte – “Inga Sorger”
Text & music: Jonas Thander, Loulou LaMotte

Loulou LaMotte had her big breakthrough when she, together with the other members of The Mamas, won Melodifestivalen 2020 with “Move”. The year before, the future group members were handpicked to back up John Lundvik in “Too Late for Love”. The song won the competition and represented Sweden in the Eurovision Song Contest, where it finished in fifth place. Loulou was seen for the first time by the general public in Idol 2008. She entered the Melodifestivalen already in 2013, when together with Oscar Zia she had a prominent role as a choir singer behind Behrang Miri in “Jalla dansa sawa”. In the summer of 2022, Loulou made a solo comeback with the song “Hela vägen hem”, and in the autumn she followed up with the singles “Miljonär” and “Jul med dig”.
Loulou about her song: My song is about pepping up or strengthening yourself or others around you. I sing it in Swedish, or Scanian. I hope that others will be strengthened by it as well.
Backing vocalists of the number (off stage): Frida Green
Choreographers and performance creators: Keisha von Arnold, Lotta Furebäck, Sacha Jean-Baptiste and Jennie Widegren

Alma Bengtsson/SVT

3. Rejhan – “Haunted”
Text & music: Albin Johnsén, Mattias Andréasson, Pontus Söderman, Tilde RONIA Wrigsell 

Rejhan Bellani from Uddevalla competed in Talang 2021 (Sweden’s Got Talent), where he was praised by the jury and went to the final. He has been playing piano and guitar and singing since he was four years old. With roots in Kosovo and Bosnia, he can sing in Albanian, Bosnian, English and Swedish. He claims to be inspired by Bruno Mars, Daniel Ceasar and Labrinth, among others, and has a voice that has been described as influenced by soul. In high school he studies economics. After participating in Talang, Rejhan has had a growing following on TikTok and Instagram and appeared at, among other things, Uddevallakalaset 2022. In 2023, he will release the first part of his debut album. At the debut in Melodifestivalen 2023, Rejhan will be 16 years, 4 months and 8 days – one month and ten days younger than Carola was when she debuted with “Främling” in 1983.
Rejhan about his song: A ballad. A very emotional song about a relationship that ended.
Backing vocalists of the number (off stage): Mattias Andréasson
Choreographers and performance creators: Keisha von Arnold, Lotta Furebäck, Sacha Jean-Baptiste and Jennie Widegren
Dancers: Ellinea Siambalis

Alma Bengtsson/SVT

4. Elov & Beny– “Raggen Går”
Text & music: Johan Werner, Kristian Wejshag, Mattias Elovsson, Oscar Kilenius, Tim Larsson 

With hits such as “Bubbel på balkongen” and “Kommer över dig”, Elov & Beny have provided popular music at Sweden’s pre-parties. The duo consists of Mattias “Elov” Elovsson and Oscar “Beny” Kilenius and was founded in 2008. In the same year, they broke through with the song “Singel och sökande” which took them to 18th place on Sverigetopplistan (Sweden’s top charts). In 2022, Elov & Beny have joined the ranks of the most played artists in Sweden. With the summer hit “Bubbel på balkongen”, which they released together with Sofie Svensson & Dom Där, they made it to second place on the charts in both Sweden and Norway.
Elov and Beny about their song: The song is a declaration of love for the countryside and a bit of a taunt to the big city, wrapped in a love story. We probably won’t do any ballet dancing on stage, but we will go full speed.
Backing vocalists of the number (on stage): Åsa Bergfalk, Simon Lingmerth and Lars Säfsund
Choreographers and performance creators: Keisha von Arnold, Lotta Furebäck, Sacha Jean-Baptiste and Jennie Widegren
Dancers: Lisa Arnold, Kenny Lantz and Kim Pastor

Alma Bengtsson/SVT

5. Victor Crone – “Diamonds”
Text & music: David Lindgren Zacharias, Peter Kvint, Victor Crone 

Artist and songwriter Victor Crone was born and raised in Österåker outside Stockholm. He started playing guitar and writing songs when he was 14 years old. A few years later, he had the opportunity to go to the United States to write music. Victor has released several singles and worked with songwriters such as Peter Kvint, David Lindgren Zacharias, Andreas Moe, David Björk, Marcus Svedin, Jubël and Stig Rästa. Through the meeting with the artist and songwriter Stig Rästa, Victor got the chance to compete in Eesti Laul, Estonia’s equivalent to Melodifestivalen. The song “Storm” took him all the way to the Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv 2019, where he went to the final and finished in 20th place. The song also became a radio hit in Sweden. Victor has competed in Melodifestivalen twice before. The debut came as a featuring singer for Behrang Miri, when he competed in 2015 with “Det rår vi inte för”. The song went to Andra chancen and was eliminated in a duel against Samir & Viktor. In Melodifestivalen 2020, Victor made his solo debut in the competition with the self-written “Troubled Waters”, which went directly to the final and finished in 9th place.
Victor about his song: “Diamonds” is a fast-paced uptempo song that is about invincible love, being able to be apart but that love is always still there somewhere.
Backing vocalists of the number (off stage): Lars Säfsund
Choreographers and performance creators: Keisha von Arnold, Lotta Furebäck, Sacha Jean-Baptiste and Jennie Widegren

Alma Bengtsson/SVT

6. Eva Rydberg & Ewa Roos – “Länge leve livet”
Text & music: Emil Vaker, Henric Pierroff, Kalle Rydberg   

Eva Rydberg and Ewa Roos are popular actors and artists with over 60 years in theatre, film and music. They have shared the stage many times, and with “Länge leve livet” they participate for the second time in Melodifestivalen. Together, the duo made a success of Melodifestivalen 2021 with “Rena rama ding dong”, which, among other things, trended strongly on Youtube. In Melodifestivalen 2022 they returned with a new version of the song in the interval act called “A Ding Dong Worldwide Remix”. The participation in 2021 was Eva Rydberg’s second time in the competition, as she debuted back in 1977 with the song “Charlie Chaplin”.
Eva and Ewa about their song: It’s a real uptempo song, you can jam if you want and have the energy to do so. We were a little hesitant about whether we should take part once more. But then we got to hear the song, and now we finally get to feel what it feels like to win! Very swingy. It’s going to be a big show.
Backing vocalists of the number (off stage):
Choreographers and performance creators: Keisha von Arnold, Lotta Furebäck, Sacha Jean-Baptiste and Jennie Widegren
Dancers: Lisa Arnold, Lamin Camara Holmén, Kenny Lantz and Kim Pastor

Alma Bengtsson/SVT

7. Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North feat. Adam Woods – “Where You Are (Sávežan)”
Text & music: Arc North, Calle Hellberg, Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Joy Deb, Oliver Belvelin, Richard Lästh, Tobias Lundgren, William Segerdahl 

Jon Henrik Fjällgren, Arc North and Adam Woods have been described as three clearly distinct artists who in their collaboration are united in a great longing for the mystical and epic. Together, they are said to want to create a unique sense of sonic grandeur in their works and cross-border collaborations, imbued with a homage to indescribably beautiful mountain peaks and deep forests. Arc North is a 25-year-old DJ, remixer and music producer from Stockholm. He has released a series of hits, of which the song “Numb” at the turn of the year 2022–2023 had been played close to 50 million times on Spotify. Adam Woods is a 21-year-old Swedish singer, songwriter and music producer from Stockholm. He describes his style as electronic dance music with a warm and fresh soundscape where emotional lyrics are mixed with house productions. Among his inspirations, he mentions Swedish House Mafia, Meduza and James Arthur. Jon Henrik Fjällgren was 14 years old when he performed for the first time. When he was 16, he released his first record, “Onne vielle”. In 2014, he released his debut album “Goeksegh” and became nationally known through victory in Talang. He has participated in Melodifestivalen three times before: in 2015 with the song “Jag är fri”, which finished in second place behind Eurovision winner Måns Zelmerlöw. In 2017 he performed together with Aninia and the song “En värld full av strider” (third place), and in Melodifestivalen 2019 he competed with the song “Norrsken” (fourth place).
Jon Henrik about the song: This song is about when you miss something very much and cannot reach it physically, but you can reach it mentally, in the heart. It is also about being able to get close to something that you love very much at any time in your life.
Backing vocalists of the number (off stage): Tobias Lundgren, William Segerdahl and Lars Säfsund
Choreographers and performance creators: Keisha von Arnold, Lotta Furebäck, Sacha Jean-Baptiste and Jennie Widegren
Dancers: Johanna Albertsson

The two acts that get the most votes will advance directly to the Final, while those who finish in the third and fourth places will go through to the semi-final, which will take place on the 5th of March. The results of the heats and the semi-final will be decided by 100% televoting.

These are the dates and host cities of Melodifestivalen 2023 with Farah Abadi and Jesper Rönndahl as the hosts:

  • 4/2 Gothenburg – Scandinavium
  • 11/2 Linköping – Saab Arena
  • 18/2 Lidköping – Sparbanken Arena
  • 25/2 Malmö – Malmö Arena
  • 4/3 Örnsköldsvik – Hägglunds Arena
  • 11/3 Stockholm – Friends Arena

You can watch the show live at 20:00 CET HERE or via our Multi-window live feed.

Eurovision, National Final

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